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Scattered in the mainstream: education provision for isolated bilingual learners

Scattered in the mainstream: education provision for isolated bilingual learners
Scattered in the mainstream: education provision for isolated bilingual learners
The purpose of this research was to study educational provision for isolated
bilingual learners through a development project and reflection on the project.
The development project was carried out, with hiatuses, over a three year period
in a large shire Local Education Authority in the U. K. The aims of the
development project were to work with teachers to meet the needs of isolated
bilingual learners in four primary schools and one secondary school. The aims of
the research were to establish the extent to which bilingual learners were
submersed in the schools and to reflect on ways in which the educational needs of isolated bilingual learners could be met within a "curriculum framework common to all pupils".My data was drawn from responses to a questionnaire to advisory teachers in Local Education Authorities similar to the one in which the development project was carried out, from minutes of meetings with project heads and teachers, from semi-structured interviews with project teachers, from a response to a questionnaire to project heads, from shadowing notes and subsequent notes on discussion with teachers on shadowing process, from notes on conferencing with pupils, from notes on discussion with teachers during and following collaborative teaching and from a research diary. All the data was qualitative.
The research showed that teachers were initially willing to invest in multicultural
education rather than specific provision for bilingual learners. It showed that class and subject teachers were not prepared to invest in action research on provision for isolated bilingual learners by themselves. Neither raised awareness of multicultural issues nor reflection on what I observed during a period of shadowing impinged markedly on practice in the project schools. A more important factor in shifting provision appeared to be the ongoing change within schools whereby other specialist support teachers began to work within classes. When I, as a specialist teacher, worked with a class or subject teacher in a collaborative way we were able to ensure that isolated bilingual pupils were supported because the class or subject teacher had an investment in the reflection process that was not apparent with other development project vehicles. The willingness to invest was not dependent on awareness raising in the area of multicultural education or previous commitment to action research but hinged on the teachers' responsibility for all pupils. Because the intrinsic investment in one or two bilingual pupils is likely to be less in an isolated situation I concluded that collaborative work with teachers is even more vital there than in areas with larger numbers of bilingual learners.
University of Southampton
Statham, Elizabeth
38119c93-8f5f-4a5b-8553-3983a4c52856
Statham, Elizabeth
38119c93-8f5f-4a5b-8553-3983a4c52856

Statham, Elizabeth (1993) Scattered in the mainstream: education provision for isolated bilingual learners. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 300pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to study educational provision for isolated
bilingual learners through a development project and reflection on the project.
The development project was carried out, with hiatuses, over a three year period
in a large shire Local Education Authority in the U. K. The aims of the
development project were to work with teachers to meet the needs of isolated
bilingual learners in four primary schools and one secondary school. The aims of
the research were to establish the extent to which bilingual learners were
submersed in the schools and to reflect on ways in which the educational needs of isolated bilingual learners could be met within a "curriculum framework common to all pupils".My data was drawn from responses to a questionnaire to advisory teachers in Local Education Authorities similar to the one in which the development project was carried out, from minutes of meetings with project heads and teachers, from semi-structured interviews with project teachers, from a response to a questionnaire to project heads, from shadowing notes and subsequent notes on discussion with teachers on shadowing process, from notes on conferencing with pupils, from notes on discussion with teachers during and following collaborative teaching and from a research diary. All the data was qualitative.
The research showed that teachers were initially willing to invest in multicultural
education rather than specific provision for bilingual learners. It showed that class and subject teachers were not prepared to invest in action research on provision for isolated bilingual learners by themselves. Neither raised awareness of multicultural issues nor reflection on what I observed during a period of shadowing impinged markedly on practice in the project schools. A more important factor in shifting provision appeared to be the ongoing change within schools whereby other specialist support teachers began to work within classes. When I, as a specialist teacher, worked with a class or subject teacher in a collaborative way we were able to ensure that isolated bilingual pupils were supported because the class or subject teacher had an investment in the reflection process that was not apparent with other development project vehicles. The willingness to invest was not dependent on awareness raising in the area of multicultural education or previous commitment to action research but hinged on the teachers' responsibility for all pupils. Because the intrinsic investment in one or two bilingual pupils is likely to be less in an isolated situation I concluded that collaborative work with teachers is even more vital there than in areas with larger numbers of bilingual learners.

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Published date: 1 January 1993

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426658
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426658
PURE UUID: d78c5127-626a-4943-838d-a71fb2451b04

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Date deposited: 10 Dec 2018 17:30
Last modified: 13 Aug 2019 16:30

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